New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Education has directed all states and union territories to align their age of admission for Class 1 to six plus years.
“The states and UTs also requested to initiate the process of designing and running a two years Diploma in Preschool Education (DPSE) course,” the ministry also said.
The National Education Policy 2020 recommends strengthening the learning of children at the ‘foundational stage’ as a national priority for the country. The foundational stage consists of five years of learning opportunities for all children (between 3 to 8 years) that includes three years of preschool education and two years of early primary Class I and Class 2.
Senior officials of the education ministries said the policy thus promotes seamless learning and development of children from preschool to Class 2. This can only be done by ensuring accessibility to three years of quality preschool education for all children studying in Anganwadis or Government, Government-aided, private and NGO run preschool centers.
The officials said that the education ministry believes that besides, the most important factor at the foundational stage is the availability of qualified teachers who are specially trained in the age and developmentally appropriate curriculum and pedagogy. Considering this factor the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF-FS) was also launched on October 20, 2022.
To fulfill this vision, the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education sent a letter to the state governments and UT administrations. The letter has reiterated directions to all the state governments and UT administrations to align their age to admission with the policy and provide admission to Class 1 at the age of six plus years.
The states have also been advised to initiate the process of designing and running a two years Diploma in Preschool Education (DPSE) course in their state and UT. The course is expected to be designed by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and run, implemented through District Institute of Education & Training (DIETs) under supervision and hold of SCERTs, the official added.